The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1907 and houses one of Europe's finest art collections: magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world, including an outstanding Impressionist collection.
The Museum's Japanese collection comprises almost 600 works, 470 of these being woodblock prints dating from the early 18th to late 19th centuries. Among the most interesting material is a group of 52 tea ceremony utensils, lacquer, textiles and prints collected for the Museum in Japan between 1913 and 1915 by the studio potter Bernard Leach, nephew of the National Museum's founding director.
In 1926 Miss Elizabeth Hughes (1851-1925), a pioneer of women's education, bequeathed 171 items which included 19th-century actor prints, ceramics, lacquer, textiles and metalwork (including tsuba and cloisonne enamels). Miss Hughes held a chair at the Japan Women's University, Tokyo, at the beginning of the 20th century.